The Crippled America hashtag started an important conversation. It's not the one Trump intended.

Like so many words centered on impaired bodies, "cripple" has a negative connotation.

So when presidential candidate Donald Trump managed to both insult a reporter who has a physical disability and release a book titled "Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again," you can bet Disability Twitter responded.


Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

The #CrippledAmerica tweet-in started in a blog post by Nina G., who was, at that time, the world's only stuttering stand-up comedian.

She wrote:

“In protest to Trump's initial remarks of Kovaleski and subsequent comments about how much money he has spent on people with disabilities, I propose we have a TWEET-IN protest (just like a sit-in).

To help educate Trump and the rest of the US about the American Disability experience, tweet #CrippledAmerica (a hash tag he has used to publicize his book released this month).

Share your experiences of life, love, barriers, employment, parenting, sex, art and everything else that represents real Disabled Americans! Let's make our experiences heard! #CrippledAmerica #DisabilityPride #Empowerment"



Folks started tweeting about their American disability experiences immediately after reading Nina's blog.

They "hijacked" Trump's hashtag like she suggested, using it to share their daily lives with the world:

Thousands of tweets later, Twitter is full of everyday details about living with a disability.

The tweets cover everything from health care to social norms to job interviews and, of course, Trump.

Some folks also wanted to remind Trump that it's not just that America is crippled — it's that he actually needs "Crippled America," too.

To Mr. Trump, I'll say this: Americans with disabilities want you to know that supporting Crippled America is one important route to making America great again.

Please try it out.

True

When Molly Reeser was a student at Michigan State University, she took a job mucking horse stalls to help pay for classes. While she was there, she met a 10-year-old girl named Casey, who was being treated for cancer, and — because both were animal lovers — they became fast friends.

Two years later, Casey died of cancer.

"Everyone at the barn wanted to do something to honor her memory," Molly remembers. A lot of suggestions were thrown out, but Molly knew that there was a bigger, more enduring way to do it.

"I saw firsthand how horses helped Casey and her family escape from the difficult and terrifying times they were enduring. I knew that there must be other families who could benefit from horses in the way she and her family had."

Molly approached the barn owners and asked if they would be open to letting her hold a one-day event. She wanted to bring pediatric cancer patients to the farm, where they could enjoy the horses and peaceful setting. They agreed, and with the help of her closest friends and the "emergency" credit card her parents had given her, Molly created her first Camp Casey. She worked with the local hospital where Casey had been a patient and invited 20 patients, their siblings and their parents.

The event was a huge success — and it was originally meant to be just that: a one-day thing. But, Molly says, "I believe Casey had other plans."

One week after the event, Molly received a letter from a five-year-old boy who had brain cancer. He had been at Camp Casey and said it was "the best day of his life."

"[After that], I knew that we had to pull it off again," Molly says. And they did. Every month for the next few years, they threw a Camp Casey. And when Molly graduated, she did the most terrifying thing she had ever done and told her parents that she would be waitressing for a year to see if it might be possible to turn Camp Casey into an actual nonprofit organization. That year of waitressing turned into six, but in the end she was able to pull it off: by 2010, Camp Casey became a non-profit with a paid staff.

"I am grateful for all the ways I've experienced good luck in my life and, therefore, I believe I have a responsibility to give back. It brings me tremendous joy to see people, animals, or things coming together to create goodness in a world that can often be filled with hardships."

Camp Casey serves 1500 children under the age of 18 each year in Michigan. "The organization looks different than when it started," Molly says. "We now operate four cost-free programs that bring accessible horseback riding and recreational services to children with cancer, sickle cell disease, and other life-threatening illnesses."

Keep Reading Show less